A way to reduce air pollution is to use energy obtained from so-called renewable sources. Undisputed sources of renewable energy include the sun, wind, water and so-called biogas.
Obtaining energy from renewable sources is recommendable, but the decision on whether to invest in a specific renewable energy source in a specific location should be made after consulting professional consultants who will assess, for example, the orientation of the building in relation to the world, the number of sunny or windy days, the availability of biomass, the temperature of the ground, etc.
It is becoming increasingly common in Poland to see solar panels installed on the roofs of houses or outbuildings. This makes it possible to obtain electricity or heat, directly produced by photovoltaic or solar panels, which is usually used to heat domestic water or support heating systems in the home, as well as being used for e.g. farm installations (electrical appliances, crop drying, etc.). Energy from the sun is the most commonly used source of renewable energy. The reason for this is that both individual devices and entire systems are relatively cheap and widely available. More on this topic at ptes-ises.itc.pw.edu.pl and at pses.eu.
The conversion of wind energy into electricity is possible through the use of windmills. The development of this branch of alternative energy depends on national legislation. Nevertheless, from the point of view of environmental protection, including the reduction of air pollution, windmills should be regarded as a technology absolutely worthy of further development. For more on this topic, see psew.pl and facebook.com/psew.pwea.
Getting energy from hydroelectric power plants for individual farms does not seem to be a widely applicable solution. This is mainly due to the limited possibilities of building small hydroelectric power plants – both in terms of finding a suitable location, incurring considerable investment costs and having to overcome administrative difficulties. For more on this topic, see trmew.co.uk and the latest legal regulations.
Biogas from small-scale biogas plants is a valuable source of energy and will be used increasingly. It offers the possibility to manage, among other things, household waste and, in the process of methane fermentation, to produce gas, the main component of which is methane. Biogas can be burned to produce heat or electricity. However, the construction of a biogas plant should only be considered if the necessary biomass is available throughout the year. Such biomass can be slurry, manure, fruit pomace or grass silage. More on this topic and on this page.
Contrary to some opinions, materials that are burned in cookers or fireplaces, such as straw, wood or peat, should not be considered as sources of renewable energy. Wood, even that obtained from special plantations such as energy willow, does not seem to be the best source of energy, as domestic cookers or fireplaces cause air pollution from dust, and low combustion temperatures lead to the formation of harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulphur oxides, polyunsaturated aromatic hydrocarbons. Dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – PAHs for short, (PNAs), or (POMs) – contain compounds with condensed aromatic rings, many of which are suspected or proven carcinogens. They are emitted during wood combustion, cigarette smoking, asphalt production and the operation of coke ovens. They are also present in car exhaust and gas tar. PAHs mixed with water vapour particles are an element of smog. All of these compounds are toxic and particularly harmful because they can exhibit carcinogenic properties.
Burning waste such as tyres, PET bottles, rags, old furniture, etc. in cookers is also definitely harmful and prohibited. The amount of dust, polyunsaturated aromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins mentioned earlier is particularly high in this case.
For more information in the area Agricultural chemicals and waste management.